You’d be forgiven for having skipped Wednesday night’s matchup inside the waste treatment plant of the Western Conference. On one side were the Pelicans, flopping around without the depressingly doomed Zion Williamson, whose “ramp up” gets “dialed back” every week. On the other were the Thunder, whose youthful dysfunction is entirely by design. These two squads managed to produce some incredible drama, however, with two forceful upchucks at the end of regulation.
Up 110-107, the Pelicans attempted to foul Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. When the refs didn’t bite, the Thunder guard, sailing to his right, shot-putted a three from 31 feet with 1.4 seconds on the clock. The relief was short-lived: Devonte’ Graham promptly banked one in from 61 feet as time expired. Always coming through with the oddly specific historical context, ESPN Stats and Information reports this is the only instance in the last 25 years of “multiple game-tying or go-ahead shots from 30-plus feet inside the final five seconds of the game.”
“When I saw it released from Devonte’s hands, I just said, ‘Lord, please.’ And he delivered,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said, of a contest between his 9-21 team and the conference-worst 8-19 Thunder.